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U.S. Senate Breaks with Trump by Opposing Plans for Abrupt Withdrawal of Troops

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2019)

The Republican-led U.S. Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with President Donald Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The Senate voted 70-26 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying it was the sense of the Senate that Islamist militant groups in both countries still pose a “serious threat” to the United States.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that “a precipitous withdrawal” could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russia.

It called on the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups’ “enduring defeat” before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

Before the vote, McConnell said he introduced the bill so the Senate could “speak clearly and directly about the importance of the” missions in Afghanistan and Syria.

Passage was expected after the Senate voted to advance it in a procedural vote last week. After concerns from some Democrats, the Senate approved a change to the bill making it clear the amendment was not intended to be a declaration of war or authorization to use military force.

The vote added the amendment to a broader Middle East security bill making its way through Congress. The Senate voted 72-24 to advance the broader bill in a procedural vote on Monday after the amendment vote.

To become law, however, the bill would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where it is unlikely to move without significant changes because of concerns about a provision addressing the “Boycott, Divest and Sanction” movement concerned with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

The votes marked the second time in two months that the Senate supported a measure contradicting Trump’s foreign policy, although legislation to change his policies has yet to become law.

Several of Trump’s fellow Republicans strongly disagreed with his plans to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria on the grounds that militants no longer pose a threat.

Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, disputed before Monday’s vote that the amendment rebuked or insulted Trump. “As I read it, it recognizes … his effort for us to examine exactly what we are doing in these places,” Risch said.

Reported by Reuters.

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ATN employee Sulaiman Yousufi dies of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

COVID19 took the life of an employee of the Ariana International Television Network.

Sulaiman Yousufi, an employee of Ariana News and Ariana TV, died of coronavirus today.

Mr. Sulaiman Yousufi was infected by the Coronavirus a few days ago and died early today after severe suffering from respiratory troubles.

Yousufi had been working in the transportation department of Ariana TV and Ariana News for over a decade.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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Prisoner release; Taliban’s technical team negotiating with gov’t

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

Both the Taliban team and the government are negotiating on how to verify and release the prisoners, as well as obtaining guarantees of not returning to the war, Arg said.

An agreement on peace between the Taliban and the government has not yet been reached, but the US-Taliban peace agreement which was signed three months ago in Doha, Qatar says that the Afghan government should release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 prisoners from the Taliban side.

A Taliban delegation is now in Kabul negotiating the prisoners’ release.

However, the Taliban has said that the team was in Kabul only to monitor the release of prisoners and has no further authority over other aspects of the peace process.

The Afghan government and the Taliban in their latest actions came to an agreement about a three-day ceasefire on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.

The Afghan government is now urging the Taliban to take new and more practical steps in the process of starting Intra-Afghan negotiations.

Arg said that the government’s negotiating team was ready and that the government was committed to take new measures.

Sediq Sediqqi, the presidential spokesman said that the Afghan government had taken major steps towards peace and it was time for the Taliban to show the green light.

Sources close to the Taliban said that the unannounced ceasefire by the group is ongoing, but they will not start the Intra-Afghan negotiations until thousands of the Taliban prisoners are released.

The United States and the international community are waiting for the Afghan government and the Taliban to begin the first round of Intra-Afghan Talks, as the start of these talks could open new doors to the Afghan peace process.

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Official: Laliga to resume on June 11

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

The Spanish Football league known as La Liga will officially resume on June 11, says the Laliga’s president Javier Tebas.

While the Coronavirus shutdown the European football leagues for two months, the major football leagues are now preparing to resume their matches.

The Germany’s Bundesliga is already resumed, whereas the other major leagues are yet to resume their matches.

According to Javier Tebas, the Laliga’s president, the match between Real Betis and Sevilla on June 11 could restart the league.

Tebas added the 2020-2021 season of Laliga will start on September 12.

This comes as all matches of the league for this season will be held behind the closed doors.

The England’s Premier League is expected to start on June 17th, while the Italy’s Serie A will resume on June 21st.

The French Football League was cancelled for this season, and Paris Saint German became the early champion of the season.

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